Donna Rae Bourn
Omaha, formerly Ponca, Neb.
Donna Rae Bourn, of Omaha, formerly of Ponca, passed away at 1:15 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, due to a series of strokes and pneumonia.
Services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at Salem Lutheran Church in Ponca and at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lindy, Neb., at 3 p.m. Visitation will begin one hour prior to each service at the churches. Mohr Funeral Home in Ponca is handling arrangements.
Donna Rae (Barnes) Bourn was born to Leonard and Marjorie Jessen Barnes on May 24, 1941. As an infant, she was baptized at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lindy and was confirmed at the same church. Donna grew up on the family farm two miles northwest of Lindy, attended country school at Dist. #147 and graduated from Niobrara High School in May 1960 in Niobrara, Neb. She graduated from the Business School of Commerce in Omaha and worked at the Yankton College in Yankton, S.D.
Donna was married on Aug. 19, 1961, to Donley Dean Bourn in the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. They had two sons, Don E. Bourn and David A. Bourn. The family lived in Niobrara State Park from 1962 until 1974, where Donley became the park superintendent and Donna became the park office manager in 1970. In 1974 the family moved to Ponca State Park, where Donley and Donna managed the park together until 1997, when they retired from the Nebraska Game Commission. That same year, Donna started Donna Bourn Tours, where she organized and took bus tours across the U.S. and Canada until 2010.
Donna had many passions in life, but other than her family, music was her greatest passion. At age 13, Donna joined a polka band, playing for dances around Northeast Nebraska. In 1964, Donna started her own “one-man band” and continued to play for dances, weddings and special occasions for nearly 50 years. She provided a tremendous amount of joy for the many people that came to dance and hear her play, but gained as much joy in doing so.
In addition to her music, Donna enjoyed cooking, gardening, playing cards and traveling. She was a devoted and amazing wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her beautiful smile, joyful personality and zest for life brought so much joy to her family, friends and community. She could always be counted on to take care of those in need, especially family, friends and senior citizens. The past 14 years, her greatest joy has been her five grandchildren. She was extremely proud of each of them and loved being involved in their lives.
She is survived by her husband, Donley; brother, Larry; sister, Shirley; son, Don and his wife, Kim and their three children, Austin, Lindon and Tanner; her second son, David and his wife, Mercedes and their children, Katherine and John.
Donna was preceded in death by her mother, Marjorie Barnes; father, Leonard Barnes; and brother, Harlan Barnes.
The family wishes to thank all of the nurses and doctors at Methodist Hospital in Omaha for the tremendous care and love that Donna was shown. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Donna Bourn Memorial Fund, 2210 N. 120th Ave., Omaha, NE 68164-3406, where the family will provide support for Donna’s cherished organizations and causes.